Recent advances in information technology have allowed firms to gather detailed data about consumers’ preferences and the structure of their social interactions. Along with the growingly adopted targeting technologies, the wealth of available information benefits firms and holds a lot of promise for individuals. On the other hand, challenges arise with regards to the sensitive nature of the information entities such as firms and government agencies may collect about individuals. In such a context data holders may take advantage of the individuals’ inability to fully comprehend and anticipate the potential uses of their private information with detrimental effects for aggregate social welfare. These challenges are only amplified by the fact that consumer information is a valuable business asset and it is typically infeasible for an individual to retain full control of its informational value. Moreover, individuals interact with one another forming social relationships and preserving one’s privacy in the context of a connected society which presents another set of interesting questions especially when individuals have different views on what may constitute sensitive information. This proposal aims to develop a comprehensive way to think about extracting the significant societal and commercial value of data about individuals while taking their privacy considerations into account.
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- Bimpikis, K., Crapis, D., & Tahbaz-Salehi, A. (2016). "Selling Information in Oligopolies." Working paper for Management Science. http://stanford.edu/~kostasb/publications/selling_information.pdf